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Reviews by Dai Alanye

The Adventures of Harry Revel

by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

I usually have difficulty finishing these pseudo-autobiographical 19th century tales but this one went down quite well.

[I ignore stars]

Reviewed on 2015.09.02

A Mysterious Disappearance

by Louis Tracy

Would have enjoyed this more had the characters been humans instead of angels brought down to earth, and had I not guessed the perp so soon. Still, I read it to the end with very little skipping, so it has some merit.

Typical premise, though—stupid policeman and brilliant amateur, each of whom go about matters in a highly lackadaisical manner and leave apparent clues unexamined. It's obvious they've watched neither Forensic Files nor 48 Hours.

Reviewed on 2015.09.02

John Splendid

by Neil Munro

Nicely written story of the Highlands, told from the losers' point of view during Montrose's famous campaign in behalf of Charles I. Munro's view of Montrose's Irish infantry is different from that of historians, however.

The book gives a great deal of possibly trustworthy information about ordinary life and politics of the time, though it would help the reader to understand Gaelic. In addition, it could easily exchange a hundred pages of philosophy, mystic descriptions of Highland scenes, and pale-hearted wooing for three or four pages of red-blooded action.

[I ignore stars]

Reviewed on 2015.09.02

Helen Vardon's Confession

by R. Austin Freeman

Freeman is nearly as good a writer as Doyle, and the science and logic in his tales are superior. Regrettably, Dr Thorndyke is a far less intriguing hero than Sherlock Holmes, and the various Dr Watsons tend to be colorless.

Helen Vardon is a fine story, and it's very length makes it more interesting than many of the Holmes adventures. It would benefit, though, by being less wordy and losing as much as ten percent of its length.

[I ignore stars]

Reviewed on 2015.09.01

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Henderson Smith
Award-winning screenplay writer Henderson Smith has always been fascinated by fairy tales. Today she chats with us about her book, "The Ugly Princess: The Legend of the Winnowwood." She explains why she made her princess ugly, why she finds the original fairy tales so enchanting and how her heart is ruled by a certain papichuahua.
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